26 Amazon reviewers have given New Age Lamians an average of 4.2 of 5 rating saying things like “Excellent Quick Read worthy of any nightstand.” and “More Than Your Average End-Time Novel!!” It’s multi-genre steam-punk with a mythological twist.
Print Length: 152 pages Publication Date: April 22, 2014
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I studied the drifters face as I listened to his words. He was obviously aged by the sun and weather. His skin was like leather, with eyes covered in wrinkles, and a chin blanketed with hair. His beard touched down to his mid neckline and moved as he spoke. I listened to the scratch in his voice and watched the slight shake in his hands. I wondered how old this man must be. He spoke with a certain confidence and truth in his voice. With his arms wrapped around the rolled up snakes skin, he left the crowd making his way to the tree line. Bending at the waist, he unraveled the skin. I watched as this towering man unrolled the ball. He left one end at edge of the grass, and slowly rolled the rest through the waiting crowd, to the other end of the clearing. The rolling ball grew smaller and smaller as the laid out portion was left behind in one long, thick, impossible skin stretching out across the entire length of the clearing. Shock instilled into the voices of the men and women standing next to me. I on the other hand stood speechless along with my silent father.
The dead and detached skin of this snake stretched along the entire distance of the clearing that we had proclaimed as the marketplace. Each scale was larger in diameter than the length of my wrist to forearm. Fearful whispers lingered amongst the crowd. “Where did you come across this snake skin?” ask my father.
“It has been passed through two other travelers before me, along with the story of its origins. But I assure you sir, this is the skin of no snake.”
“It sure does look like a snake to me.”
“At first glance yes.” He replied, “But notice the shape. It does not shrink down on both sides nor have the head of a snake. It is triple the size on one end as the other.”
Again my father retorted “Well that doesn’t mean anything. What if it is much larger and just broken in the middle?”
Rolling laughter escaped from the drifters lips. “I do like your style my good sir!… come along with me to the end and I’ll show you something before I tell you all the tale of what this skin belongs to.”
My father walked next to the drifter and I followed close in tow. The rest of the crowd slowly made their way behind us at a cautious distance. I stared down at the skin laying at my feet as I made step after step to the edge of the clearing. The skin grew wider and wider until it came to an abrupt stop. Pointing at the end of the shedding Johnson explained the way that scales shrunk back down around the edges and rounded out into a different shape along the final row. In conclusion he noted the slight indents at the outer edges indicating the way the scales formed and attached to the creature. Nodding his head my father seemed to agree with the drifters logic. I let my eyes wander down the length of the shedding. I was overwhelmed by the size and mystery of it. It was dark gray in color, unlike the average clear tan pigment held by most other reptile shedding. Each scale had been diamond in shape. An eerie beauty radiated from it, as its flow filled the grassy clearing and demanded the attention of every man and woman standing close to it.
“You do have my attention, Mr. Johnson.”
“Just Johnson please.” He stated with a warm smile. “They are calling these creatures Lamians. Half serpent, half man… Well woman I should say.” Already a head above the rest, he seemed to stand even taller. His proud smile quickly faded into a menacing blank stare. A cloud crossed over the wrinkles in his face and bags under his eyes. “Upon much study, the story has been passed along with the skin. After seeing the terror in the eyes of a few men and women before I came across it, I believe every word. It is said that snakes carrying the Lamian venom were stirred awake from an ancient sleep. The shock of the lightning and the horrendous roll of the omnipotent thunder, unleashed its power. Snakes containing the most potent of a magical line awoke from centuries of undisturbed slumber.
“The original beast was said to be transformed from a human into a serpent hundreds of thousands of years ago by an overwhelming loss in her life. She cursed the Gods, and in turn was cursed herself to live out her life as a serpent. Her name was Lamia. Upon being slaughtered, the unborn snakes inside of her was also put to rest by the gods. Until the lightning began. The storm awoke the decedent snakes of Lamia. Her blood boiled in their veins. Her sight peered through their eyes seeking out only the most beautiful woman alive. Upon finding these women the snakes would sink their fangs deep into the flesh infecting them with their venom. It is said that over time this venom changed the women bitten. At first their beauty lasted for years not allowing them to age. As time went on the serpent inside of them started to surface changing these women into an awful creature that feeds off of the pure blood and flesh of humans. Once the serpent has completely taken over, the evil that is their new selves devour their old souls. They can smell human life just waiting to be fed upon from miles away. They move from house, to hut, and to cave consuming every human they come in contact with. They travel and feed at night, amongst the lightning, when the rest of the world is in hiding.”
Glancing around at the faces in the crowd his expression remained the same as it had when he began his tale. He explained that he had made it his mission to travel as far and as fast as he could to warn survivors of the storm, that the Lamians are coming. He doesn’t know how far away this skin was picked up or how fast the creature moves. He also stated that it has been at least a year since he has been to a place that had already heard of the beast. I looked up and down the length of the clearing at the giant shed skin of the serpent as he spoke. No mater how hard I imagined I just could not picture this horrendous being. My stomach twisted and stirred at the thought. I was only 22 years old at the time with no life experience other than that of our cave and the marketplace. I am now 26, and my story is one of courage and heartbreak.